Yesterday, readers enjoyed an intimate look into the story of Tara Swicicki, the gardening mom at TheGardeningMom.com. Today, Tara shares exclusively with Leslie her best spring gardening tips like ways to prepare your garden for a great growing season, the easiest flowers and veggies to grow, and how to avoid beginner mistakes.
1. What is so great about gardening?
Gardening is living art; it’s a way to create a painting in your yard, to get the every day stresses of life out leaving beauty in its wake. Not only ornamental beauty from plants, but also the beauty of balance in all forms of life. The term enjoying the fruits of your labor takes on a very literal meaning when you watch friends and family picking and eating fresh fruit from your garden.
2. For the most of us, spring is finally here. What should gardeners of all levels be doing right now to prepare their gardens?
This is a tricky question as it all depends on what it is you’re going to grow. Generally speaking I can say inspect, prune, clean, divide, move and cultivate.
b. Prune time to cut down all perennial stems, and ornamental grasses.
c. Clear garbage, dead plant debris, edge your beds.
d. Divide time to split up your perennials.
e. Move time to move small trees and shrubs to their new home.
f. Cultivate is when you move the soil with a cultivator making room for air space for the roots to gown through and collect food and water from.
3. What are the most basic tools a gardener should have?
Gloves, shovel, hand held cultivator, and Felco pruners with out these its going to be hard to get digging!
4. What, in your opinion, is the easiest flowering plant to grow during the spring for those with black thumbs? The easiest vegetable to grow?
In spring, any one who has a black thumb can’t go wrong planting bulbs, they pretty much take care of them selves.
If you want to grow a vegetable, I’d an easy spring one is the sugar snap peas. The need support like a trellis or tomato cage but the peas do the rest, and they are delicious!
5. What mistakes do beginners often make and how should they avoid them?
A common mistake for beginners would be going to a Wal-Mart or home depot or some big chain store to buy their plants. Low priced plants almost always mean low quality. If you want to grow a healthy plant buy it from a local nursery because they know how to care for the plants and you want a healthy plant from the start.
Also every new gardener forgets a very important factor in a healthy plant, WATER! This goes ten fold for a potted garden; you have to remember to check the pots daily! With out water they will die, or get very sickly, survive for long enough to host a lot of bad bugs, then die and infect surrounding plants.
6. How should beginners approach their garden plots or balconies in terms of planning a layout or design?
The approach anyone takes to their garden is a personal choice. In my own garden I try to make the idea in my head form to my garden as apposed the garden forming to my idea. In general you want tall plants in the back tapering down towards the front. The same concept is in play for containers but with a twist. Tall plants in the center and tapering down towards the edge of the pot.
7. Do you recommend any books or resources besides your blog?
Anything Michael A. Dirr writes is always a good choice. Its always a good idea to pick up a book on, soil, insects, and a big A-Z plant guide book.
8. Do you have any tips that I haven’t asked, but could be of additional value to readers?
One tip would be don’t think too much, just do it. If you are unhappy with the out come you can always change it! Just get out side and get dirty, trust me something will grow!! Also compost is your best friend in the garden, no matter your soil type or what you want to grow, compost will always be your black gold J
9. What can liveloveleslie readers find at your website? What makes your blog special?
Liveloveleslie fans will find me! I’m an honestly happy mother of three who loves to inspire people to grow! I don’t know exactly what makes my blog special. I try very hard to be funny, understandable, and show people how fun it is to be out side enjoying nature.
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